Archive for April, 2010

ANZAC Day Dawn Parade 2010

Today was my first Dawn Parade. I have said for a while it was something that I should do. After all, if a significant number of Australian and New Zealand service people can give their lives, the very least I can do is get out of bed at 4:15am to show my respect.

I was absolutely overwhelmed by the number of people who did the same. The grassed area around Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance was simply a sea of people. Unlike many situations where so many people are gathered, the proper feeling of solemness and respect prevailed.

It was a simple service, with just an appropriate amount of ceremony that failed to impose on the opportunity to reflect. The dawn light silhouetted the participants in a very moving manner.

I went for a stroll around the Shrine afterwards – these are the pick of the photos. Lest We Forget!

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The Flinging Kangaroo

When it goes bad for Qantas, it goes bad big time. This is how The Age described the airline online, prior to it being corrected soon after.

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The plan was to head to the Red Hill Brewery for lunch and a taste of some fine ale. The plan was thwarted by this thing called Easter. “We can get you a table at 2:00pm tomorrow” wasn’t really what we wanted to hear, but so be it. The dining rooms at three wineries down the road were all full as well.

So we headed to a cafe in Flinders for lunch and then went for a drive over to Hastings. That was where we came across the headless pelican.

And the swooping gull.

The pelicans and gulls were being fed by two small girls, with scraps from the fish shop at the jetty. It was the first time we’d been to Hastings – I can definitely see a weekend coming up down that way in the future.

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One of the things Carol and I worry about, living so close to Moorabbin Airport, is having a plane drop out of the sky onto the house.

There was such an event on Thursday night, but thankfully over on the northern side of the airport. The plane came to a standstill in Capital Golf Course, very close to Centre Dandenong Road, which is right on the boundary of the airport. What is really odd is the lack of damage in the general area – it’s almost as though it’s just dropped in there. There’s a hole in the fence, presumably that the firies have cut to get to the plane. Other than that, not really anything.

It’s pointing away from the airport, suggesting an overshoot on landing. But that’s a big overshoot. I guess it could have spun around on impact, if it was landing from the north, but the lack of damage suggests that’s not the case. Anyway, I guess it will all come out in the ATSB report.

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I thought this was a great article by Greg Baum in The Age this morning, on the state of the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.

If Sydney wants it, let them have it I say.

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How stupid would I have to be, thinking that no one in Melbourne could be bothered going to the zoo on Good Friday!

It’s been nine months since my last visit to the zoo. I wanted to see Mali, Melbourne Zoo’s new baby elephant. Mali was born on 16 January – you’ll find more details here.

In the period leading up to the birth and after her arrival, Melbourne has been captivated with her progress, and that of Dokkoon, her mother. It probably wasn’t surprising then that, when I arrived 45 minutes before her display was scheduled to open, there were already 200 people in the queue in front of me.

Was the wait worth it? Absolutely! Here’s the pick of the 620 photos I took. Camera is a Nikon D40X with an 18-135 Nikkor lens.

It wouldn’t seem fair not to include a photo of Dad, Bong Su.

The other thing I was keen to see was the new Wild Sea display, comprising mainly seals and penguins. As usual, it was really challenging getting good under water photos of the seals, but I managed to get some when they were basking in the sun. Interestingly, the seals have been victims of marine entanglements who have been rescued and placed at the zoo. The scars are quite obvious on some.

The apes and monkeys are always fascinating, but presented the usual photographic challenges, mainly from glass and wire.

Last step on the visit was at what I reckon is the best display at Melbourne Zoo, the Sumatran Tiger. I could seriously turn up at the start of the day with a folding chair and sit, watch and photograph this animal all day. It is absolutely magnificent.

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